The letter below was shared with participating officials, trainees, the MHSAA and area Athletic Directors. GBHS Athletics is proud to provide the support needed to encourage and prepare new officials! Efforts like these will ensure the continued availability of high quality game officials.
On behalf of myself (Steven Tannar), Brian Morley and the Tri-City Officials Camp I would like to thank all involved for an outstanding day of basketball and training in Grand Blanc on January 5th.
First, to Grand Blanc High School, thank you so much for your cooperation in our training goals and the accommodations you made. We could not have done all that we did without the classrooms, the gym space and the complimentary admission for all those involved. The support we receive on a regular basis from Athletic Director Jerrod Dohm and Athletic Secretary Sally Piggott at Grand Blanc High School along with their game staff is amazing and is so helpful as we work to build the next generation of basketball officials in our area. Events like this one are certainly helpful and are high profile, but we equally appreciate all the times we have been allowed to use classroom space for Rules School and gym space at no charge to work on the floor with our trainees. Some of our first year trainees are now in their third season and are starting to reach some of the upper levels in the area. It is so exciting to see all their hard work paying off and so rewarding for those of us that have given up so many Saturdays for training and spend so many nights observing games all over the Genesee and Livingston County areas.
Second, thank you to all of the veteran officials that help assist us in this effort, not just at this event but throughout the season. Pat McKenna, who assigns the basketball games in the Genesee County area and beyond has done an amazing job providing the new officials with game opportunities and has spent so much time going out and watching these people, offering them real time instruction as they work their games. Pat and Brian have also begun a mentor program in this area for new officials to have a veteran they can contact to ask questions and continue to receive training on a regular basis. Thank you to Mark Barton, Chris Vergison and Dean Tondreau for instructing at the event in addition to working a game on the floor.
A huge thank you as well to all of you that worked a game for me that day in Grand Blanc. We had some very competitive games and some high level competition and you were flawless! I want to make sure those that read this understand how impressive the skill level of the officiating was that day and I want to make sure your name is recognized. Bruce Moore, Luke Schmiege, John Montney, Dean Tondreau, Jeremy Valentine, Greg Folsom, Trevor Allen, Dustin Crawford, Pat McKenna, Nick Meyer and Tom Dowdall, you all did a tremendous job working your games and were a great example for our new officials observing you from the stands. Your mechanics, floor coverage, coach interaction and game management were great examples for our trainees. Also, I want to single out the crew that worked the Saginaw v. Benton Harbor game, that game was as high level as you could get in a high school game in this state and the crew of Mark Barton, Chris Vergison and Brian Morley handled it perfectly. As an assigner myself I can tell you there is no game at any level in this state that I would have any reservation having you work. You are truly at the top of your craft and it was a pleasure watching you work that game.
Finally, to the 40 or so newer officials that were there that day and to those of you that couldn’t make it but are thriving in this program, we are so thrilled that you have decided to join us. We need you and the future of high school basketball in this state is depending on you! Brian Morley deserves so much credit for all of the things he does, from the training to the phone conversations to the clinics and of course the summer camp, it is truly a labor of love for him and I hope you have a chance to thank him regularly, he is one of a kind and we are blessed to have him here. I think he enjoys watching the new officials get on the floor more than he enjoys working himself! I’ve never known someone so dedicated to officiating and he deserves all the praise.
Thank you to all of you that assist me throughout the season, all the games you work, all the aches and pains you endure and all the grief you take. I’m sure I can speak for Pat when I say we are so fortunate to have you in this area and are excited for the future of basketball officiating here. I am already talking with Grand Blanc and we are eagerly looking forward to the 2nd Annual “Gotta Get It” Classic in 2020! More basketball! More fun! More training!
Hopefully our paths will cross before the end of the season but if not, I hope to see all of you newer officials at camp this summer! Until then, thank you for all that you do!
Basketball Assigner and Trainer